Monday Night Raw
Date: December 1, 2003
Location: ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
We’re in the final month of the year now and last week’s Raw Roulette….didn’t change much. At the moment we’re STILL on HHH vs. Goldberg, but the Trish/Lita/Chris Jericho/Christian story is still charging strong to keep the show interesting. Well mildly interesting but that’s better than nothing. Let’s get to it.
Eric Bischoff is in the dark to start and announces Randy Orton/Batista/Kane vs. Rob Van Dam and Shawn Michaels for tonight. The evil boss continues.
Here’s a ticked off Goldberg to start things off. As he poses, we see a group of fans holding up the individual letter signs to spell out G-O-L-D-B-U-R-G. They have that many people in a group and no one knows how to spell? Goldberg talks about getting jumped from behind out here every single week and he’s tired of it. He wants HHH and Kane right now but here’s Bischoff instead, because we haven’t done a corrupt boss vs. top face story in a few weeks.
Bischoff yells at him for trying to create mass chaos on his show and threatens him with a firing, champion or not. This is the Eric Bischoff Show and Eric is all that matters. No one can stop him, but here’s Mick Foley, in a suit, to interrupt. Foley introduces himself to Goldberg and says there’s something he can do about Bischoff. See, Linda McMahon thinks Vince is a little nuts at the moment, so Foley has been hired as an outside consultant with the power to make any necessary changes to this show. I’m not sure this company knows what “consultant” means.
Anyway, tonight Goldberg is going to be with Van Dam and Michaels in a six man tag instead of a handicap match. That’s it for Goldberg but Foley isn’t done. Next up is Steve Austin, who needs to be back on Raw. Foley has a petition to bring Austin back, which starts with Lillian and gets to go around the arena. Oh and Foley is the new Co-GM. So to recap, we’re right back where we were three weeks ago but with Foley instead of Austin. I’m so glad we’ve spent all that time getting so far.
Post break Bischoff calls Linda, who hangs up on him.
Tag Team Titles: Dudley Boyz vs. Mark Jindrak/Garrison Cade
Jindrak and Cade are challenging of course. Cade tries to talk trash to Bubba to start s Bubba slaps him in the ribs (that’s a rare one) and demands respect. D-Von comes in for a powerslam and everything breaks down. Cade’s rollup with tights gets two so D-Von does the same thing (properly this time) to retain in a hurry.
Post match Cade demands we see the cheating on the screen so we see him cheating first. D-Von’s is shown second and that means they deserve a rematch. Well it’s not like the face run was working in the first place.
Al Snow is with Coach and says “Jade and Kindrak” (if I remember right, Snow did this on purpose to get people talking about the team, which is more than WWE did for a long time) could win the titles with another shot. Foley comes in and says he wants to relive the old days. People ask about his worst injuries and while losing the ear and the Cell dive hurt, nothing was as bad as Coach and Snow on commentary. Therefore, tonight it’s Coach vs. Lawler with Coach’s job on the line.
Booker T. vs. Test
Booker wastes no time in hammering away in the corner. Test drops him face first onto the turnbuckle but Booker punches him back again. A bicycle kick to the face (you don’t see Booker use that one very often) gets two but Test is right back with the pumphandle slam. Stacy Keibler shoves the feet off the ropes though and the distraction lets Booker hit the ax kick for the fast pin.
Post match Booker has Stacy do the Legarooni. The schoolgirl outfit is now even more popular but here’s Mark Henry to jump Booker and give him the World’s Strongest Slam.
Lita gives Trish Stratus a Chris Jericho action figure and Trish talks about how she’s never felt this way before. Trish tries to ask about Lita and Christian but Lita asks about last week. Apparently it was very special and they talked about their feelings all night. Tonight is going to be special too because she made him a Canada hockey jersey for him. She’ll give it to him tonight and have something special underneath it. Tonight might be “the” night.
JR and King tell us how we can sign the Austin petition online.
We look back at Batista destroying Shawn Michaels last week.
Batista wishes he had done more.
Here are Scott Steiner, Test and a distressed Stacy for a chat. Steiner thinks Stacy is forgetting her place, which is why she needs to join a special club. Vince McMahon founded it but it’s time for Steiner and Test to start their own chapter. The pants come down (only Steiner has anything underneath) but here’s Foley to interrupt. He’s got some more orders, including Stacy coming up to the stage to consult for him. As for her future, it’s not a problem because Test is fired. Steiner protests because they need to win the Tag Team Titles. Ok then, Steiner is fired too.
Post break Steiner and Test rant to Bischoff a lot. They leave with nothing fixed so Eric says he’ll take care of this himself.
La Resistance vs. Val Venis/Lance Storm
Foley is on commentary and openly admits that he’s drunk with power and loving it. Lawler is very confused as Foley says he sees some white meat babyface potential (his words) in La Resistance. Dupree dropkicks Venis out of the air to start as JR talks about being proud to be an American. A back elbow drops Venis for one and it’s off to the chinlock. Venis fights up and brings Storm in as everything breaks down. While Foley talks about Tag Team Turmoil returning at Armageddon, a quick Hart Attack ends Dupree in another short match.
Post match, Foley praises La Resistance despite their high levels of being French. He offers them a chance to be back on the good side with the Pledge of Allegiance. Conway kind of goes along with it but Dupree has nothing to do with it (because he’s not American). Therefore, Dupree is fired. Foley: “Oops I did it again.”
Trish Stratus/Chris Jericho vs. Miss Jackie/Rico
Trish can’t stop smiling at Jericho. Rico shoves Trish down at the bell and that’s not cool with Jericho at all. The guys start and it’s Rico poking him in the eye to take over. JR hopes Jericho and Trish “write a novel together”. After that odd line, Jericho chops away but can’t get an early Walls attempt. It’s off to the women with Trish firing off some forearms and chopping Jackie up against the ropes.
Jericho distracts the referee by mistake so Rico can get in a cheap shot, setting up Jackie’s suplex for two. It’s off to something like a dragon sleeper as Jerry questions Rico’s gender. A shoulder takes Trish down for two and it’s time for a botch with Jackie missing a clothesline but looking down at Trish, who falls without contact. Hey, all things considered between these two, that’s not half bad!
Trish gets in a spinebuster to set up the hot tag to Jericho as things speed up again. Rico SMACKS Jericho in the head with a springboard kick but gets punched out of the air. The bulldog looks to set up the Lionsault but Jericho has to bail out. Instead it’s a slingshot dive to hit Rico on the floor, leaving Trish to hit the Stratusphere and Stratusfaction on Jackie for the pin.
Rating: C. All things (including that bad botch) considered, this was a minor miracle. Jericho is Jericho (and I love the face version more than the heel, at least in the ring) and Rico is underrated, but who knew that Jackie could have a pretty watchable match? Sure she wasn’t in there very long but she only botched one move, which is probably a record for her.
Eric recaps the night to Kane, who he wants to take care of Foley.
Matt Hardy vs. Christian
Matt, who is more handsome than Christian, has Mattitude Facts back. Lita is in Christian’s corner so she can keep up with Trish and Jericho. They slug it out to start and head to the floor as Lita looks on with a bit of a smile. Christian snaps the back of Matt’s neck across the top rope for two but gets caught in a suplex for two more. It’s almost weird seeing face Christian vs. heel Matt.
We hit the abdominal stretch as Lawler tries to find out what color thong Lita is wearing. Back up and Matt shoves Christian off the top to set up the middle rope legdrop for two. Matt grabs the double arm crank as Lawler wants to know what happened to the midget JR caught last week. The Side Effect cuts off another Christian comeback but Matt goes outside to yell at Lita. That goes nowhere so Matt crotches himself on the middle rope instead. The Unprettier gives Christian two but here’s Molly Holly to send Lita into the steps. Christian is distracted and gets rolled up for the pin.
Rating: B-. Sometimes you just need a nice match to spruce up a show. So much of the show has been built around the short matches and that’s not the most thrilling thing in the world. Let us have something a little more interesting, like this, and the show gets a lot better. Christian is an awesome face and it’s still strange to see this face/heel dynamic between these two.
Jerry Lawler vs. Jonathan Coachman
Right hands, belly to back suplex, fist drop and pin in less than a minute. So that’s it for Coach.
You know the song that Lawler sings because IT’S THE SAME THING THEY DO EVERY TIME SOMEONE IS FIRED. The singing lasts as long as the match.
Pay per view rundown.
Jericho and Christian are in the back to talk about the moment that Christian and Lita just had. Chris laughs it off because Trish has been falling for everything he’s been saying for weeks. Something seems to be afoot as they talk about how close they are to, ahem, sealing the deal with their respective ladies. It turns out that they have a bet for a Canadian dollar of who can score first. As you might expect, Trish is right outside the door with the jersey she made. This is another example of wrestlers somehow not noticing the camera there for a REALLY IMPORTANT TALK.
Randy Orton/Batista/Kane vs. Goldberg/Rob Van Dam/Shawn Michaels
No HHH in sight. Orton and Van Dam get things going with Rob kicking away to start and loading up a far too early Five Star. That sends Randy bailing to the floor so Rob dives onto him, leaving Orton in a heap. Back in and Batista runs him over with a clothesline as the beating begins. Flair adds some choking so JR adds a plug for the awesome Flair DVD, followed by Rob kicking Batista in the face.
That’s enough for a tag off to Shawn so things can speed up again. The big elbow connects but a Flair distraction lets Kane chokeslam Shawn. Back from a break with Kane uppercutting Shawn down and handing it off to Batista. The fans want Goldberg but get Batista grabbing a chinlock instead. Batista switches to a choke so Shawn kicks him low (pretty out of character) to escape for the tag off to Goldberg. Orton is crushed in short order and Goldberg wants Kane.
The brawl is on with Goldberg pounding Kane down in the corner with a rather frenzied attack. There’s the spear but Evolution breaks up the Jackhammer. That sends Goldberg and Kane over the barricade to keep fighting and Orton takes Rolling Thunder. Flair pulls the referee out so Rob adds a Five Star with Foley running in to count the pin.
Rating: C. Pretty run of the mill six man main event here with three feuds in one. I’ve always been a fan of that style and it’s the best thing you can do in a situation like this. I’d rather do something like this than try to squeeze in three short segments to hype up the matches individually. It’s also smart to have Rob get something on Orton because it’s been pretty one sided so far.
Post match Bischoff comes out and wants to talk to Foley one on one. Bischoff says Foley has killed Raw and Foley nods a bit. The thing is though, Foley never signed any release papers so everyone is still around. He just wanted to show Bischoff what happens when you get drunk with power like Bischoff. Foley is a man of the people and therefore, next week it’s Kane vs. Goldberg. For the people tonight, Foley brings out Mr. Socko to take care of Bischoff to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. Foley being there helped but it feels like this show could have taken us to the middle of January instead of through two hours. Have Foley fire a person or two a week and THEN bring them back later when Bischoff is about to snap. Or have him bring them back in exchange for Austin being allowed to come back or something big like that. It’s still a good show and they made me more interested in the pay per view but I’ve going to need more than what I’m getting here. And just slow down a bit. That’s been a problem for WWE for years and it’s still one in 2003.
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